Staying Grounded and Positive in the U.S. Political Climate: My LOA Spin.

Smiley Flower
WOULDN’T IT BE NICE IF….?

There’s been a lot of commotion in the United States lately centered around politics. Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably experienced it, even if you aren’t glued to the daily news updates. If you’re into the law of attraction (or even if you’re not), this is a perfect time to practice what deliberate creators know about alignment, self-care, focusing on what’s important to you and then finding ways to feel good everyday. While it may seem challenging, all this commotion is a time to appreciate the unwanted junk for the opportunities it creates to focus in on our intentions and then let them go. Yes, let them go! While it’s often easier said than done at times, practice will get you there.

 

I have been pretty good at following my “feel good” emotions and have practiced this for years and am very aware when I’m allowing my emotions to drag me down because of outside circumstances. Because of this self-awareness, I can quickly turn it around. This didn’t happen overnight. I took one practice and applied it very deliberately over time, then added more. The practice of finding relief from your emotions (from Abraham-Hicks) has served me very well in life, and I live a happy life. If it doesn’t feel good to hear the news, I turn it off. If it feels good to sing, I sing. If it feels good to take a nap, I nap. And if something excites me, I really go in that direction! I listen to my intuition (gut) and follow it. There are many practices that got me here and these are just a few.

I thought I’d put together a few of my thoughts about how I’m handling all this unwanted contrast in my country right now with an intention that it’s there for the reading for anyone seeking it.  My intention is that those who are seeking relief will find relief in an idea or two here.

WORDS 

I am conscious of the words I use and the emotions they invoke. I don’t like hate and I’d really rather have love! I don’t fight AGAINST anything or anyone anymore, as that will only create more to fight against. Therefore, I don’t use “resist” in my language and involvement in what’s happening.  I’d much rather be FOR something instead. So I like words like advocate and empower, instead of resist.  So, I’m not “fighting,” I’m “empowered and advocating.” That feels so much better!

REST TIME

All of this activity takes energy and it’s important to take care of myself. So I find time everyday for rest. That can take different forms, from  a few minutes each morning listening to an audio meditation, to a quick little nap on weekends, to saying “no” to one more thing in my day, to listening to music or one of Abraham’s recordings. There are many ways I “rest” my mind and body and these are just a few. This keeps me grounded and focused so that I don’t internalize the negative energy that may be around.

APPRECIATE EVERYDAY 

I’ve gotten very adept at this one. This will take you to wonderful places if you find time to appreciate everyday. I sometimes write in a journal, post on my gratitude blog or in my Facebook appreciation group, or just say things out loud in the car on my way to work. There is ALWAYS something or someone to appreciate. Practice this everyday and watch how your life changes.

MOVE

I am not physically fit at all but I know the value of this. I find ways to move everyday and recently bought a treadmill. Just moving more releases stress and can make a difference in how you react to what’s happening. Moving my body feels good and when you feel good, you feel better, thereby attracting more to feel good about in return.

GIVE

Giving feels good to me. Whether it’s giving of your time or money, when you give to others without expectation of any reward in return, it does come back to you and it feels good! In this political climate, I am giving to organizations and causes that I believe in.

DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT (FOCUS)

The beauty of all that “unwanted” stuff out there is that it’s an opportunity to focus in on what you want. Here’s some examples. Instead of listing them as “wants” or “intentions,” I’m going to play the “Wouldn’t it be nice?” game from Abraham-Hicks.

WOULDN’T IT BE NICE?

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our elected officials were authentic and truthful?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if Congress were transparent with the public in what its proposing and doing?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone followed ethical behavior in our government?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if all this unwanted contrast resulted in new and inspired people getting involved in our democratic process?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a society where few or no laws were broken?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned how to accept, instead of judge others?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if it were easy to change an unfair law and for the good of all?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if people were kind, compassionate and listened to others they don’t agree with?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we always had a President who leads by example that all Americans can be inspired by?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if all media were respectful and accurate in its reporting?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone is kept safe in this country?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had access to public education that’s thriving?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if affordable health care were available for all?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if people were paid a decent wage they could comfortably live on, no matter which state they’re in?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if women were paid the same as men for equal work?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we’d honor our treaties and promises to the indigenous population?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if families were kept together, even if one or some were undocumented?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we’d truly learn from each other, and value our cultural differences?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if our planet became much greener and we turned the climate change around, leaving a much better space for our children and grandchildren?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we invested in jobs in the  environmental sector and these businesses and employees thrived?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we found a miracle way of rehabilitating people who broke the law so that the change was permanent and let them live productive lives?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice knowing we take care of each other, no matter what?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone paid their fair share of taxes for society’s good?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone understood our Constitution and the separation of powers?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if gatherings of disagreement were always peaceful?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if the  U.S. were seen as THE role model for the rest of the world in promoting peace and human rights for all?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if all the US National Parks were thriving and every American had a chance to experience them often?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone’s civil rights were protected?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who was qualified voted in all elections?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a fair voting process across this entire country?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we had affordable public transportation all over this country?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had a high quality of life, with accessible education, health care, income, housing, opportunities for growth, and clean spaces in which to play?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had clean water?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if abundance of finances abounded in every household?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had someone to love and someone who loves them?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if people realized there is plenty of wealth to go around and that we don’t need to hoard it out of fear of losing it?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone were generous of their time and money with others?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we no longer needed animal shelters as all are well cared for by people?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we found cures for health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, the common cold, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and other disorders?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could follow their dreams, without fear of failure or persecution?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we truly believed in miracles and they happened everyday?

Yes, these things would be great! Now, it’s not up to me or you to figure out HOW this will all manifest: that comes by letting your intentions go and trusting in your faith and knowing that it will all work out in the end. In the meantime, pay attention to what inspires you and follow that! So if it inspires you to call your Senator or to join a peaceful protest, do it. There’s no “one way fits all” here. That’s the beauty of deliberate creation: you get to choose what feels good to you! And when you see “evidence” in your physical surroundings of more of what you like, that’s the time to really tune your appreciation skills into high gear.

 

Let’s Find Happiness Everyday

Happy EverydayLately I’ve seen quite a few posts on social media from people worried that they haven’t found their life purpose. The assumption is that we all “should” have a purpose. While I’m not saying that finding your purpose is wrong or bad, if you’re stressing out or worried about it, that’s probably creating a barrier to you finding it. For when you struggle to find something, you’re going to create more struggle and you’ll keep searching. When you compare yourself with other peoples’ versions of themselves,  you can end up feeling you don’t measure up to their version of success. This is destructive to your own self. Self-love and acceptance are pre-requisites to finding your passions and purposes in life!

If we think about life in general, isn’t being happy the point of it all? What makes you happy may not be what makes another feel the same way. That’s the beauty of the diversity of our choices in life: there’s no “one size fits all.”

What makes you happy may change over time.  What made you happy at age 7 might not be the same at age 47. What brightened your day yesterday may not be the thing that brightens it today.  The journey of life serves us well in discovering our passions, in creating a life of joy, and following what may be more than one “purpose” in our lives.

In my own life, I have been aware of having many passions over time. Growing up, music was my life. I loved to sing and perform and thought I wanted to become a professional singer. I played the clarinet, and taught myself guitar and a bit of piano. I also loved to write and wrote poetry, songs and short stories. I loved theater as well and did every play and musical theater that was offered in my school. I loved taking pictures and photography and took many photos over the years. I loved learning languages, too, and ended up studying abroad twice in high school and once in college and eventually earning a degree in Spanish. I also loved discussing things and felt particularly drawn to politics and law. I also felt drawn to serving others which led to a Master’s degree in Counseling. I also dabbled working in the travel industry, and in elementary bilingual education, as well as in teaching English as a Second Language classes to high school aged kids and  adults. I had a passion for learning, which led me back to pursue a doctoral program in International Comparative Education.  I discovered from these experiences that I felt really “at home” in a university environment, to working with college students, and in the field of international education.  In this journey, I became a mother of two children and that was the best thing that could ever happen in my life.

So is being in international education my purpose? Or did I miss out on a fulfilling singing career? Looking back on my professional career, I realize that I often followed my gut on what came next and I was happy in my choices.  So I choose to look at this with no regrets. I choose to be happy right now. I choose to find  happiness in the everyday moments because it makes me happy over time. The core of finding purpose and passion is not about the career we choose or the number of kids we have, but what makes us feel joy. If you follow the joy, you’ll discover your purpose (or two or three)!  Life will be exciting!

Life is not meant to be planned out in detail and then struggle to make all of that happen. It just doesn’t work that way if you want to feel and be happy. While we can create intentions on what we want and visualize ourselves there, it’s so important to appreciate where we are right now for alignment in getting to where we want to be. When we appreciate, we find more good things that come our way and more to appreciate from it. In that journey, we may get inspired to do something else than what we originally intended. It’s all ok.

As you go through life appreciating, you will be inspired to follow certain paths. So follow your heart in what feels good to you. In the meantime, let’s find happiness in every day!

Happy New Year, 2017!

IMG_8302 (1)Join me this Monday, December 28th at 7:00 p.m. EST with other GoodVibeUniversity members while we celebrate the successes and joys of 2016 in a scripting call!  To learn more about scripting and how I use it in these new year’s calls, I explain my method in this handout called The Art of Scripting A New Year.

I highly recommend preparing for this call a few days ahead of time.

You can join in on the fun on Monday at:

Phone Number: (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 79357

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/79357
Happy New Year!

I’m Tickled It’s Tuesday

Few Laughs Away quoteNo, it’s not yet Tuesday, but for some time now, I’ve played with words to feel good and have fun on Facebook. I take the day of the week and label it with something fun. My favorite is “Tickled Tuesdays” so I’ve decided to have my Giggle Fest & Manifest! calls on Tuesdays.

While they won’t be every Tuesday, they will always fall on a Tuesday (with the exception of any end of the year blessings call). I do these calls as part of Good Vibe University calls and if you don’t know about this community, you should check us out!  It’s a wonderful community of fellow deliberate creators created by Jeannette Maw, the Good Vibe Coach. To join in on my giggling calls or to listen to past calls, go to the “About” page or click below to take you to the TalkShoe site.

Giggle Fest & Manifest!

It’s only a half hour but guaranteed to raise your vibe. hee hee 🙂

Do What You Love and Love What You Do

A brief “faster than a New York minute” video message for today: If you want to be happy, you have to do what you love and love what you do. That means accept and appreciate your current circumstances and do what feels good!

Let There Be Peace On Earth

My desire for now and moving forward into 2014 is that we all find that peace within us. When we do, the world becomes a better place. This version of the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” is brought to us from the 5th grade chorus of PS22 of several years ago, right here in Staten Island.

This video is several years old now and I still get chills and inspiration every time I see and hear it. Very inspiring! These kids and their teacher really feel the music within their hearts. May we all feel the peace within us in this new year. Happy New Year, Everyone!

I Appreciate My Life

How much and often are you appreciating YOUR life each day? I made this video to remind myself and others of the beautiful power of appreciation and love. EnJOY!

Busy is for the Bees–Not Me!

It’s been 7 months since I last posted here. My, how time flies by! I haven’t been active here since I dedicated my time to other areas of my life during that time, and I admit that it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been busy!
In fact, I was so busy I kept telling myself and others how busy I was and guess what happened? I just got busier! 
For people that understand the power of our thoughts and feelings, it should come as no surprise that as I practiced the story of being so “busy,” I kept getting busier and busier.  For what we think, feel and speak about becomes our reality. That’s the process of creation and I wasn’t being very deliberate about it in my “busyness.”  
Suffice it to say that while I was working long hours and days and weekends during this time, I wasn’t taking care of me very well. While I was busy as a bee, I wasn’t making time for me.  So then my story became how “exhausted” I was, which led to more exhaustion! 
I reached a point of extreme contrast in this exhaustion that served me well in that I’d had enough. I got so tired of being busy that I made a conscious decision to shift my energy to better feeling thoughts and to make time for me everyday. These are things I know, practice, mentor and coach, but I let my “busyness” preoccupation get in my own way of self-care and self-love. 
So this week I am taking a break from it all to reflect and relax. I’ve been reading Teal Scott’s book, “Sculptor in the Sky” and came across this quote that served as a reaffirmation of how being busy does not serve us. She writes, “You must simply remember that constant busyness will not satisfy you. It is the reason for a good deal of suffering.” 

Intellectually and intuitively I knew this all along: I just got on a roller coaster of focusing on all the “action” of my days and nights and less on the “stillness” of the present moment. I can now reflect and appreciate the busyness for its reminder to make peace with where I am right now. Making peace and appreciating “what is” is an important practice in finding happiness and creating a space of where we want to be.

But the contrast can also be appreciated.  Teal writes,  “If there is no dirt, there is no flower.” I appreciate all those circumstances in my “busyness” that allowed me to experience new things, meet new people, and to clarify my ideal working environment. I am very appreciative of these experiences within my busy days and nights and can truly say that without the bees, there’d be no honey for me!

So let’s leave the “busyness” for the bees (and find time to appreciate that they do it so well), so that we can taste the honey sweetness of life! Find time to be still, relax, breathe, exercise, and appreciate what is happening in your life at this very moment: even if it’s not the sweetest thing right now.  There is always something, someone or some aspect in your current situation to appreciate. It’s a practice that I intend to remember the next time that “busy story” shows up on my bookshelf.

P.S. I started a new space in Google Plus called The Appreciation Station. You’re welcome to stop by and post there, and/or join to read the good vibes of others who post. Relax and rejuvenate in an energy of appreciation and joy!

Almost A Week Since Hurricane Sandy Came To Visit

What a week it’s been here since Hurricane Sandy decided to visit.  A week ago, we were bracing for the incoming storm and hunkering down in our homes (or) evacuating in the mandatory evacuation areas. I lost my power around 8 p.m. on Monday and got it back on Thursday night. I’ve been posting on Facebook as best as I could, partly to pass the time, partly to let others know I was ok, partly because I wanted to journal in some way and social media was the easiest and partly because I wanted to find something – anything – to appreciate through it all. Today I got my cable and internet back up and running, so I thought I’d make a blog post and use this as my Facebook update for the day.

Yesterday I discovered a Staten Island Community Board on Facebook for both victims who need help and for volunteers willing to serve.  There’s a LOT of information there and it truly shows the value of social media in times like these.  I had read they needed clothing, so I spent Saturday gathering up some things around the house but later read online that they didn’t need clothing any longer. There was a post about a restaurant here in Staten Island that had a lot of supplies and needed help transporting it to one of the locations where some of the volunteer teams are stationed.

Since my gas tank is still rather abundant since I last filled it,  I thought I could help out by transporting supplies from the restaurant to the volunteer area. I am blessed with and appreciate a fairly short commute to work, and especially by New York City standards.

As I made my way to the restaurant, I saw runners who had made their way from the Staten Island ferry terminal and were running along the road. They looked to be traveling/running together, but were definitely going at different paces in different groups. Now I’m not sure where they were going, as the shoreline where supplies and volunteers is not straight up on that road, but many looked liked they had supplies with them, by evidence of their plastic bags and also the people accompanying them with backpacks loaded down on their backs. Staten Island has a lot of hills so they were definitely getting a work-out this morning.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I saw that they had a truck there, so I wondered to myself if they still needed people to transport supplies in their cars. As I quickly learned and probably should have anticipated, yesterday’s social media “news” is already “old,” and they had delivered everything yesterday when the post was made. But they now have a truck, so I didn’t need to spend my gasoline by delivering anything else.  So I decided to go to the nearby CVS store and pick up some bleach and baby wipes: supplies I knew were on “today’s” list. I imagine they will be on many “tomorrow” lists, too, as the clean-up will take a long time.

As I entered the store, there was a group of National Guardsmen sitting on the cement wall outside so I thanked them for their service on my way in.

With the bleach and baby wipes in tow, I made my way back to the restaurant where friendly young volunteers helped me load it into the back of the truck.  It was there I learned they planned to make these runs all week – and for as long as is needed.

We began to talk about how people outside of Staten Island could help, as I’ve been asked that question from friends outside of New York and also through my posts on Twitter.  One of the women there was having supplies sent to her from friends and family in other places and she is personally delivering everything when they arrive later this week. Both the NY1 channel (a local cable news station) and the community are saying the best way for individuals outside of NYC to help is with cash donations. They mentioned that for companies, supplies are better.

The next question is, to what organization or which way is best? I personally feel that people should follow what feels good for them.  Giving is an act from the heart, so I believe that following your heart is the best way to determine how to give your love and your loving funds.  With that said, I was asked by someone on Twitter in the #SpiritChat community to come back to Twitter and give my two cents about the best way to help.

The discussion here seems to be of two mindsets.  There are many who don’t want to pay the overhead of the Red Cross and want to contribute funds so that the maximum amount reaches the widest possible recipients.  The Community Board initiative has recommended the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation.  Please be sure to specify T2T for Hurricane Sandy Relief, if donating. I had heard about the foundation from the Tunnel2Tower runs and more recently, on a local CBS news report where the man was saying that the funds go directly to those in need – and quickly.  In addition, a friend also reported that the foundation was mentioned in a CNN report.

The other way being mentioned is to hand deliver cash or cash cards (American Express, Visa or Mastercard) to the victims themselves, giving them the power to decide how best the money is used. Unless a person knows someone in the area who can deliver it, this method requires that people put their trust in someone to collect the cards and deliver them.  If anyone who knows me wants to do this, please contact me at: barbara@spiritedstrides.com and I will let you know where to mail the cards, which I promise to deliver to the people who have organized the Community Board volunteer efforts.

On a final note for today, it was a very sunny day. It was quite beautiful, but cold. The sun was shining during the day, but the cold could be felt to your bones, especially if you don’t have heat in your home.
Normally, temperatures in the 30’s are not that bad, but without power and heat, it can feel frigid.  There are still many people without power and heat and the forecast is calling for a possible Nor ‘Easter on Wednesday.  And while today there were “warming centers” open during the day by the city, I keep hearing reports that some people are afraid to leave their homes for fear of losing their possessions to looters.
And with that thought, I’m reminded that possessions can be replaced, but human life is precious. And animal life is precious, too.  I can appreciate all the people and pets that survived, the efforts of the people in this community in responding to this force of Mother Nature, the people from outside of NYC who are here serving lovingly, the government (made for and by the people) who are providing much needed services, and I’m definitely counting my blessings from this week that Sandy visited. May God bless each and every one of us in remembering that it’s the human touch that warms our hearts, that pets are also part of our families and it’s the relationships that truly matter in life. No amount of “goods” can replace the joy of members of our family: our human and/or pet family. 

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